6 Horses Worth A Pineapple This Melbourne Cup

6 Horses Worth A Pineapple This Melbourne Cup



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For 161 years, the Melbourne Cup has been the race that stops the nation. In reality, it stops two nations given New Zealand comes to a halt too.

And in a globalised racing environment, it is viewed on every corner of the planet – there have recently been estimates that 600 million people worldwide will see some element of the Melbourne Cup.

A two-mile handicap that is renowned for epitomising the Australian spirit and psyche, it may not be the best race on the calendar but it is certainly the most watched. And to this day, it remains Australia’s biggest betting race and an outstanding contest from that perspective.

For the 162nd time on Tuesday, the nation will pause to recognise a new champion on the honour roll, joining horses like Archer, Carbine, Phar Lap and Makybe Diva. They will be able to achieve what legends like Tulloch, Kingston Town and Super Impose could not in winning the Melbourne Cup.

This year’s Melbourne Cup looks like a typical battle between the locals and the internationals with a willing contest on the cards.

Who will win the $8 million affair?

#8 Deauville Legend – $3.70

A highly touted English three-year-old, Deauville Legend will look to follow the likes of Cross Counter and Rekindling in taking the prize.

An eye-catching second in the King George V Handicap (2400m) at Royal Ascot – a race that has previously produced future Lexus Melbourne Cup aspirants – his form has only continued to progress this season.

A strong win in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy (2600m) at Newmarket was followed by a fast-finishing second in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2400m) with Tuesday’s rival Hoo Ya Mal in behind). However, it was his win in one of England’s best three-year-old 2400m races – the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York – that confirmed him as a leading Cup contender.

He is a first runner for emerging talent James Ferguson, while jockey Kerrin McEvoy can join Bobbie Lewis and Harry White as a four-time winner.

#6 Without A Fight – $10

While Deauville Legend is clearly favourite, perhaps it is Without A Fight of the internationals who is clearly over the odds.

A tactically versatile English visitor who arrives with strong credentials, he produced arguably the best-beaten run of any horse in this field when second in the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold (2400m) to the impressive Hukum in March.

Twice a stakes winner over the York 2800m mid-year in small fields, he finished on late in the Listed Godolphin Stakes (2400m) most recently.

He should relish the Flemington 3200m but is best suited on firmer ground, which is a concern given the forecast for rain.

A first Lexus Melbourne Cup runner for father-son training duo Simon and Ed Crisford, he gets the services of Norwegian jockey William Buick, recently crowned Britain’s champion rider for the first time.

#19 Smokin’ Romans – $16

While the internationals deserve much respect, I think the local that has clearly been forgotten is Smokin’ Romans.

He has been a revelation this campaign to put himself at the forefront of Australia’s staying ranks – and he still appears so well weighted, too.

Winner of the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) in December for Victoria’s top trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, he put together two 2000m wins in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes to earn favouritism for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

He ended up in the wrong spot and ran OK at Caulfield but the Melbourne Cup has been his target throughout, something the stable has reaffirmed constantly all preparation.

It is only a matter of time before Melbourne’s top rider Jamie Kah joins Michelle Payne as a female Cup-winning jockey and this could be the year.

#24 Realm Of Flowers – $9

Expect the money to fly in for Realm Of Flowers in the lead-up to Tuesday’s 3pm jump time.

The winner of the 2021 Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) who missed last year’s Cup for which she had a golden ticket, she gets her shot at redemption this time around.

She is a terrific staying mare who still looks to have so much to offer and she is so well weighted.

It was a huge effort from her last start in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), sitting wide throughout and just falling short (with subsequent feature winners Durston and Stockman in behind). Importantly, she looks to be peaking here.

Father-son training partnership Anthony and Sam Freedman are seeking their first Melbourne Cup win, although the elder Freedman assisted brother Lee when he won Cups with the likes of Subzero and Makybe Diva.

Jockey Damien Thornton makes his second Cup appearance, having finished last in 2021 on Ocean Billy.

#2 Duais – $26

Among all six mares lining up, Duais is certainly the most classy. She is aiming to become the first horse since Makybe Diva in 2005 to win two of Flemington’s features, the Australian Cup and the Melbourne Cup, in the same calendar year.

She is slowly working her way into form and she was good late in the Caulfield Cup.

A first Cup runner for Edward Cummings, the Melbourne Cup is in his blood. His grandfather Bart was a 12-time winning trainer, while his great-grandfather Jim prepared Comic Court to score in 1950.

Jockey Hugh Bowman, renowned for his partnership with champion mare Winx, is looking for his first Melbourne Cup as well.

#3 Knights Order – $15

If there is one horse who is likely to be underrated, it is Knights Order.

A bold front-runner who has developed into a model of consistency this year.

The English import won the Brisbane Cup last year but was beaten more than 25 lengths in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

However, he has only missed the top four once from eight starts since, including a hugely impressive Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) victory and a classy Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) success.

The more rain, the better, although he is racing well on firmer tracks currently too.

It would be a second Melbourne Cup win for Gai Waterhouse and a first for her training partner Adrian Bott as well as rider Tim Clark.

So where should you put your money?

Smokin’ Romans is the one who looks the best value at the moment, but you could make a case for any of those top six and you will get a sight. Without A Fight is the best international and between him and Smokin’ Romans, you should be in good form.

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